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Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

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Cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is an easy way to get dinner on the table fast.

Instant Pot Chicken breasts made with our cooking method can be served whole or shredded. You can also season them any way you like, so they pair well with any cuisine.

Cook these breasts in advance to make meal prep easier for the week.

Seasoned chicken breast on a white plate with tomatoes and lettuce that was cooked in an Instant Pot pressure cooker

Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe

Learn how to make juicy Instant Pot chicken breasts with this easy recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Pressure Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Recipe Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breast halves - (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 ½ cup filtered water - this is the amount for an 8 quart Instant Pot, for a 6 quart, use 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Equipment

Instructions

  • Season the fresh chicken breasts in a mixing bowl with the sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning or the spices of your choice. Be sure to get the chicken breasts evenly coated on all sides.
    Chicken breasts and seasoning in a glass mixing bowl
  • Add 1 cup water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place Steamer Rack or basket in the Instant Pot.
    Filtered water and steamer rack in the Instant Pot
  • Add chicken breasts in a single layer to the Steamer Rack or Steamer Basket, making sure it's up out of the water.
    Seasoned chicken breasts added to the Instant Pot on the trivet
  • Close the lid, and turn the pressure valve to the sealing position. Set on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Allow for a complete natural pressure release before removing the lid, which should take about 7 minutes.
    Instant Pot being set on high for 6 minutes
  • Serve your juicy Instant Pot Chicken breasts with your favorite side dishes.
    A bite of chicken breast on a fork in front of a dinner plate

Notes

See Tips Below!!!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

1. What if my chicken breasts are larger or smaller?

Cook time will depend on the size of the individual breasts. In this recipe, we used 6-ounce fresh chicken breast halves.

If you’re using larger chicken breasts, be sure to add a few minutes to the cooking time. For smaller chicken breasts, shorten the cook time by a couple minutes.

2. How to avoid tough chicken breasts?

Brine your breasts for 24 hours by putting them in the refrigerator in a covered bowl with 1/4 cup of sea salt dissolved in water. Before cooking the breasts, rinse them off under cold water then pat dry. This will make them taste amazing in the recipe as it will help tenderize them.

If brining your breasts doesn’t make them tender enough, you can always get a mallet out and beat your breasts until they’re tender. Sprinkling a small amount of salt over the breast while you’re beating them will help act as a meat tenderizer.

You also want to make sure you use a natural release… the quick release method will cause tough meat with any electric pressure cooker.

3. More seasoning ideas.

My bulk seasoning recipes are amazing. Try using 4 teaspoons of one of my favorite spice mixes instead of the blend in the recipe:

4. What other cooking liquids add flavor?

You do need 1 full cup of water or liquid for a 6-quart Instant Pot, or 1 ½ cups water or liquid for an 8-quart Instant Pot. If you want to experiment with new flavors, try one of these cooking liquids in place of water for a more flavorful chicken breast.

5. Can you pressure cook frozen chicken breasts?

I prefer to use fresh or thawed chicken for consistent flavor and texture. While some people have no issues, I find frozen breasts come out tougher.

If you’re in a pinch, you can cook frozen breasts in an Instant Pot by doubling the cook time. The pot will take longer to come to pressure as well, so cooking from frozen takes longer than cooking from thawed.

6. What temperature should chicken be cooked to?

Chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚ F when checked with a meat thermometer.

7. How to make shredded chicken?

If you plan to shred your chicken, I recommend choosing one of the more flavorful liquids above instead of water.

When cooking is done, remove the steamer rack and shred the chicken breast in the liquid. It will soak up the moisture and the flavors to help keep it tender.

If there is too much liquid left in the pot after cooking, you may want to drain some out first before shredding.

8. How to store cooked chicken breast?

Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for no more than 3-4 days.

9. Best side dish ideas?

If you want to serve these chicken breasts as a main dish, some of my favorite sides are Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Bacon and Brussels Sprouts.

10. More Instant Pot chicken breast recipes?

Making chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is my favorite way to prepare them because it’s so versatile. Try some of these other great recipes:

11. Where to buy chicken online?

Grocery shopping online is the best way to keep the freezer and pantry stocked. Read more about where I order meat delivery and order produce online to simplify my life.

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One chicken breast that was made in the Instant Pot on a white plate with tomatoes and lettuce

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